Lumber prices hit record US$1,000
February 24, 2021
Wood is vital to new home construction. | Adera
Lumber prices have been increasing for months are at an all-time high.
Western SPF (spruce, pine, fir) lumber prices rose to US$1,000 per thousand board feet on February 17, according to market analyst Random Lengths.
The North American composite lumber price rose about 1 per cent to a record high of US$979.
Home builders say price increases could nail $10,000 more onto the price of building a typical single-family house in Canada.
Meanwhile, the price of benchmark North Central region OSB (oriented strand board) panels increased by 1.2 per cent from a week earlier to a record US$845 per thousand square feet, while OSB pricing in Western Canada improved by the same percentage to an all-time high of US$870.
The impact of higher prices has triggered action among producers.
This month, Louisiana-Pacific Corp. announced it will restart production at the Peace Valley OSB Mill in Fort St. John, B.C., which was shut down in 2019 because of low prices and resulted in the loss of about 200 jobs.
B.C.-based Interfor Corp. announced it would buy a sawmill in South Carolina from WestRock Co. for US$59 million.
RBC analyst Paul Quinn noted that North American softwood lumber production increased by 7.2 per cent in November 2020 versus the same month in 2019 but consumption rose by 14.8 per cent.
“We expect that producers were running their mills near capacity as they attempted to take advantage of extremely strong pricing levels,” he said.